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Still haven't been to Fishmonger's even though it's only a stone's throw from home. I guess seafood isn't an obvious choice when you're living with a vegetarian! It's great to have crowds most nights at the Brightleaf-area establishments, but the exodus of Fowler's leaves a big hole.

I'd love to one day see buildings where the two large parking lots in the middle of the Brightleaf district are, with parking moved toward the old Medical Arts building and westward between Main and Peabody Streets.

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555 Mangnum today topped off and the Van Allen apartments downtown.  Parking garage being assembled now. 

few more from American Tobacco and it is such a great project.  From yesterday.  3rd photo is Burt of Burt's Bees cabin from Maine relocated to ATC  Lets hope Apple gets on the NC Idea Express and loc

PolicyGenius leases 48,000 sq ft in 555 Mangum building in downtown Durham making that new building approx. 50% preleased.  Great news for downtown Durham. https://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/ne

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Thanks to all the murders lately, it's hard to turn the attention towards some building renovations.

The PR issues start with word of mouth. It is acceptable to say Durham is unsafe or Downtown is unsafe. It is acceptable to say that families typically don't eat dinner at Brightleaf or somewhere especially when there were no or few options before. I find it very disturbing for a woman to be kidnapped and murdered from a Downtown Raleigh parking garage near the Courthouse.

This is not directed at any individuals...just trying to do my part to break down the mental barriers that prevent other Triangle-ites from experiencing such an interesting city. I particualarly invite my neighbors in Cary to a break from there extreme monotany(sp?). :silly: This entire district is changing fast and becoming a "tourist" attraction for people across the Triangle.

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The PR issues start with word of mouth. It is acceptable to say Durham is unsafe or Downtown is unsafe. It is acceptable to say that families typically don't eat dinner at Brightleaf or somewhere especially when there were no or few options before. I find it very disturbing for a woman to be kidnapped and murdered from a Downtown Raleigh parking garage near the Courthouse.

This is not directed at any individuals...just trying to do my part to break down the mental barriers that prevent other Triangle-ites from experiencing such an interesting city. I particualarly invite my neighbors in Cary to a break from there extreme monotany(sp?). :silly: This entire district is changing fast and becoming a "tourist" attraction for people across the Triangle.

...and they can be overcome....downtown Raleigh had such a reputation until recently as well.....North Raleigh and outlying town residents always gave me a look of horror when I mentioned I lived downtown until recently...the positive news since 2002 or so now has folks saying things like..."wow, I hear things are really picking up down there!"

To Raleighs credit, many folks in Oakwood, Mordecai and Boylan Heights have toughed it out downtown since before the enlightenment and current attention downtown now receives....I see fewer such neighborhoods and pioneers in Durham, though they are there.....find an ear at the N&O and fill it with positive info and the unfortunate truth that the news influence works should in fact to start to work.

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...and they can be overcome....downtown Raleigh had such a reputation until recently as well.....North Raleigh and outlying town residents always gave me a look of horror when I mentioned I lived downtown until recently...the positive news since 2002 or so now has folks saying things like..."wow, I hear things are really picking up down there!"

To Raleighs credit, many folks in Oakwood, Mordecai and Boylan Heights have toughed it out downtown since before the enlightenment and current attention downtown now receives....I see fewer such neighborhoods and pioneers in Durham, though they are there.....find an ear at the N&O and fill it with positive info and the unfortunate truth that the news influence works should in fact to start to work.

Jones -- I hear where you're coming from. The funny thing to me is, _inside_ Durham, none of us who live in Forest Hills, or Watts-Hillandale, or Trinity Park, or Old North Durham, etc., are called "pioneers." People understand that they're tight-knit, family-friendly, attractive communities with lots of things to do in the neighborhoods. I actually was talking to a woman who's lived in a suburban/quasi-rural stretch of northern Durham for 20 years last week, who told me that she and her husband are planning to downsize their big house up there and move downtown. From the conversation up to that point, I would have pegged her as the last person in the world to "move downtown." Yet you go to... Knightdale, or Holly Springs, and people are literally afraid to drive into Durham.

I agree that the media is a big part of the problem. Amusingly, the N&O publishes a weekly news section, _The Durham News_, that's filled with positive news, focus on neighborhoods, new developments, etc. Yet the "big" N&O rarely runs positive news from Durham, though if it "bleeds," it leads in the city. Even WRAL gets into the act; when groundbreaking was held on the massive new downtown theater last month, there was zero coverage on 'RAL that I could tell, despite the fact that Capital Broadcasting _owns_ the adjacent ATHD and Bulls. Not implying that corporate media cross-ownership should drive coverage (it shouldn't), but it was a big story that happened next door to the Fox 50/Durham WRAL studios. Ya'd kind of think folks would have walked across the street. :)

To my mind, the region is hearing positive things about American Tobacco, and I've never heard anyone walk away from seeing that saying, "Gosh, that's really a lousy place." Brought my dad down there to see it two years ago, and he was astounded -- and he's been in commercial lending originating financing for major projects for three decades. Over time, the exposure that AT gets across from the DBAP has the possibility of introducing more people to the positives in Durham.

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^^

Bull City--Interesting that you mention someone in Northern Durham planning to move DT, and not your typical "urban pioneer". That is indeed very encouraging. AT Campus has left a LOT of people impressed. It's just very urban, and authentic feeling...something lacking in many NC cities. With the popularity of the Bulls, it is a great way for people to get to know this city. I think Durham is pretty well recognized from people nationally...the Triangle as a whole is highly thought of. It's when you get local people who buy in to the local media trap where you have this ignorance of the quality community that Durham is. There are real problems in Durham, but the same exists in Raleigh, Charlotte, etc. Meh--let 'em think what they want. I wouldn't expect someone living out in the exurbs to know anything about Durham, and I guess the joke will ultimately be on them. Just driving around Durham, you can see that the place is truly booming...although with much different type of development than what's happening in Raleigh. I think 2008 will be a great time for all urban lovers in the Triangle!

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^That would be cool, though you'd miss out on the ball park atmosphere. Not that I'm crazy about sitting in the bleachers on a July afternoon.

When the professional women's soccer team Boston Breakers played at Boston University's Nickerson Field, they required students in the dorms that look out over the stadium keep their shades down. Not that anyone really cared about women's soccer or anything.

I wonder if anything is planned for the site where University Ford currently resides. I've seen sketches in the past that looked like there was going to be some high-density residential over there.

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That would be a great location for some much needed residential.

Interestingly, if you look at the ATHD web site, the University Ford lot is actually listed as Phase IV of the American Tobacco project, though no massings or layouts appear:

http://www.americantobaccohistoricdistrict...tenants_map.pdf

(Look over where the Ford dealer is, and underneath the labels, and you can make out the "4" in Phase 4.)

The map also shows that residential is going into the Old Bull building (which I knew) and the Noell building (which I didn't -- thought initially that would be all office.) I think Capital Broadcasting did it right with the success of office and dining first before going to residential (now isn't that an obvious thing to say!) Frankly, once all of the AT work is done and the new courthouse is up, downtown Durham will look like a very different place.

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Man, I had never noticed that the University Ford lot was listed as phase four -- I'll be really excited to see what they have planned for it. What they've done with phase one is incredible, but I really hope they make these lots a little more outwardly oriented (or at least inwardly oriented to connected streets). Since they're staring from scratch, it could have a much more traditionally urban layout to it. Those are two huge blocks -- maybe they could reestablish some street connectivity through there? Think how great a retail area along Jackson could be -- with the old warehouses on one side and that street bend on the other, you could feel very enclosed in an urban environment.

I think DT car lots may be one of the few things I hate more than DT surface parking lots. It will be great to see it go. Guess I'll have to wait a few years, though...

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Phase IV would be a great opportunity to connect ATHD with Brightleaf/Liggett-Myers/West Village-it really is amazing how close all these are. The old hotel across from the Ford dealership is being converted into fully furnished affordable condos.

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I see the early demolition for DV II everyday now just south from where the theater is being built. Any know yet whether III is going up the same time for sure? Also it seems like the residential part of AT III is going up the same time as the theater? Anyone know if this is true. That area will be incredible in two years. Hopefully the City Center part will follow.

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Phase IV would be a great opportunity to connect ATHD with Brightleaf/Liggett-Myers/West Village-it really is amazing how close all these are. The old hotel across from the Ford dealership is being converted into fully furnished affordable condos.

Another Frank Wittenberg project. :wacko: I guess he gave up on that second tower at "Durham Centre" and instead chose to turn a Best Western into cheap condos.

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Durham County kicks in $6.1M for new parking deck for the American Tobacco complex. The 441-space East Deck should be complete by spring 2008, and will support the future development phases of the complex.

The interesting thing is that the county will give the money to Capitol Broadcasting to help build and operate the deck rather than try to partner with them or operate it themselves.

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Hopefully they are starting the new residential buildings as well. There doesn't seem to be good info on what is going on, ie. are DV II and III getting built now too?

There isn't great info from Capitol Broadcasting on the current development work. The DV 2 (& DV 3?) work is underway with earthwork being done. Bovis is the contractor for this project. The performing arts center construction (Skanska as [email protected]) is also underway next door by the City. The parking deck will wedge between the two.

The apartments further up Blackwell towards downtown/Pettigrew haven't started yet and don't look like they will for a while. Methinks they want to get the residential in ATHD Phase 2 (Old Bull, Noell) and the wrapper residential around the parking garage leased up before sinking in more units -- especially since some new underground parking will be needed for that portion (at least that's the sense I get from web digging.)

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